Automatic WKD via

Vincent Breitmoser look at
Tue Mar 3 12:06:51 CET 2020

Hi Bernhard,

> it is good to have another possibility (if your mail provider is not yet
> providing one).

Indeed :)

> Most people here understand that this has security drawbacks because it
> becomes a central keyserver with the ability to see whom tries to communicate
> with whom and a potential place to be monitored.


> Thus using a decentral way to offer WKD seems to make the whole system more
> resilient and people using a decentral way via their mail provider a bit more
> secure.

I'm not sure it's that clear cut. You do leak metadata to Hagrid, but also you
don't discover the public key for email encryption from servers of the same
party that handles the actual email transmission (although the CNAME is of
course still controlled by them).

Ultimately it's the same tradeoff as with any other "cloud service" - if you let
someone else take care of it, things become easier but you lose some control.
People who can set up CNAME records are hopefully at least roughly aware of

That said, this sure is a stopgap solution for people who'd otherwise not have
WKD at all (like me - see below).

> (And seriously shouldn't you set a good example and maintin the directory on
> your mail server? >;) It is just running one script in case your public key
> changes.)

The reason I didn't have WKD set up before was that it's too inconvenient to
manage, and also tends to get out of sync. This opinion was shared by several
folks I talked to - who either didn't have WKD set up for the same reason, or
whose experience was something along the lines of "sure it's easy to set up,
here I wrote my own python script for the job".

That's where the idea came from in the first place, to pick up people for the
technology who don't care to do anything more complex themselves. Ideally, this
will help along with the chicken-and-egg-problem.

As a more general thought, if we have to force ourselves "to set a good
example", that's ok but we should make sure to take a second and consider "why
do I need to force myself?". If there isn't at least the trend that a tech will
work at some point without idealism fuel, it's valuable to think about why that
is and correct course.

> gpg: error retrieving 'look at' via WKD: No data
> gpg: error reading key: No data
> (probably because gnupg2 from Debian oldstable, fetching pubkeys from many
> other sources work though.)

Just tested this, works for me as expected. Please try `killall dirmngr`, that
typically fixes things.

Otherwise, you could check that setup is correct using curl:

If that works as expected but GnuPG doesn't, the next step would be to increase
the log level to see what's going on.


 - V

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